Collecting Policy

Much of the film and video brought to NHF relates to northern New England. But other moving image material also reaches our door, including dramas, newsreels, animated shorts, and comedies. NHF's primary goal is preservation, and will work to find the appropriate home for material that may not be related to the region.

Acquisition and accessioning of films, videos, and related materials at NHF shall proceed according to criteria which are intended to maximize usefulness through preservation and for research purposes.

High priority is given to moving images with the following characteristics, although these measures will not be mechanically applied in determining whether or not to accept the material:

  • Related to the northern New England region through location, subject, maker, source or other connection.
  • Unique, or inaccessible to the northern New England population.
  • Otherwise likely to be damaged or lost.
  • As close to the original film or tape generation as possible and is of good picture quality.
  • Well-documented, and where possible accompanied by related non-motion picture references such as notes, still photographs, audiotapes.

Moving images meeting many of these criteria will generally have high priority for acceptance, while those meeting few or none will have lower priority. Materials preserved elsewhere, widely distributed, or requiring severely restrictive donation conditions are considered low priority.

NHF also collects and preserves objects and ephemera that relate directly to individual moving-image collections, including notes, still photographs and audiotapes. Such objects can also include promotional materials for individual items or creators such as posters, press books, biographical publications, and correspondence.

NHF will collect and preserve selected items of ephemera relating to New England films, with special attention to films that are "lost." This area of collecting supports the NHF Mission Statement goal of creating a survey of moving pictures of northern New England.

NHF will collect posters from the silent era, and all post-1920 posters of films with a New England connection, as well as ephemera relating to film exhibition and the history of movie theaters and their audiences in northern New England. These materials include business records and correspondence, programs, postcards, posters and lobby cards, lantern slides, photographs, and other images.

The primary collecting focus is on northern New England, but since so many aspects of film exhibition and audience practices were similar throughout the nation, broader collections such as a postcard-image collection of theaters from across the country would strengthen NHF collections by showing similarities and contrasts. This rationale, that national and international references provide contextual data, supports the acquisition of carefully selected national trade periodicals.